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A Flatwound guy leaves the fold.......

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by DaveB, Jun 14, 2001.

  1. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    After several years of using Flats I've gone back to Roundwounds. I've tried 'em all...TI Jazz, D'A Chromes,LaBellas...etc, etc. And I love them when I play alone in my basement. But I gig a lot and Flats have never cut through the mix well enough. Last month I finally went back to rounds as an experiment and what a difference. I still like the Flats better when playing alone but in the band mix both my basses cut through MUCH better.
    Alas....I will miss Flats.
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I feel your pain. I did the same thing a few months ago. However, I just put Fender 9050's back on my bass, and I'm going to do a little EQ work to see if I can make it work. I have an Ampeg SVT-IIP preamp and the EQ on it is pretty powerful. I'll find out next Sunday how well it works.

    Just incidentally, I find Ernie Ball Slinkys to a pretty good roundwound for a flatwound guy like myself. Good thump and nice bottom, and a pretty stiff feel.
  3. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Flatwound - Thanks. It's been awhile since I tried Slinky's.I'll give them a spin. Let me know how the EQ experiment works out on Sunday.
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego

    I tried .045 - .105 Hybrid Slinkys, and they were very nice, but I would normally use .050 - .105. I don't remember why I bought the Hybrids.
  5. An interesting compromise are the GHS pressurewounds. All the good of roundwounds without sacrificing the sound of flatwounds. They're cheap too!
  6. Aint it funny how everyone is so different. I have only recently changed to flats (TI), and for me, at least, they cut through better in a band situation than rounds. Also they have a much greater depth of sound. I think it may be because they are in their own sonic space, where the rounds tended to intrude into other instruments' space. Does this make sense to anyone?
  7. downstairs


    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD
    I know, when i switch from my aria pro to my p-bass with the flats, it has alot more bottom, some more volume, and sounds better when our friend joe goes into a soloing spree, but when playing death metal styled music, the aria works better with the steel rounds on it.
  8. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    OK, several things happened which affected my sound. First, I found a set of Ernie Ball Group II flatwounds on sale locally. I was really looking for LaBellas, but would you believe that in a town this size (San Diego, CA), nobody seems to sell La Bella bass strings? But I wanted to try something different, so I picked them up. They are .050-.105, which is a guage I like. These are somewhat similar to the Fender 9050's, but with a coarser feel on the E, A, and D, and a slightly brighter sound. The G is shiny and smooth, with a little less twang than the Fender G.

    But on to the results. I had come up with some preamp settings that I thought would help. I'm using an Ampeg SVT-IIP preamp, so I set the five-position switch at number three, which is 800 hz. and gave it some boost. The bass and treble knobs were a little past the halfway point. The graphic I kept mostly flat, with a little bump at 250 and 2 kHz. The 2 kHz. is a little touchy, as too much boost here seems to add fret noise (especially if you're a little bit clumsy like me). These settings seemed to give me a good compromise between thump and note definition, while avoiding boominess.

    Then, when I got to church, I found out we had a new monitor setup, with one of the guit*rists bringing a mixer and power amp for just the monitor mix. This was a huge leap forward in our stage sound.

    Having said all that, the upshot is that I believe with our current setup, I can get good enough definition, along with a Jamerson-esque thump using flats. I'm going to see if I can get a tape of the FOH mix next week, and see if it sounds as good out there is it does where I'm standing. Our main sound guy, who is also a guit*rist and fills the bass chair when I'm not there, said he thought it sounded pretty good out front, and he likes well-defined bass also.

    Oh, and hey Marty- those TI flats are really in a class by themselves. They are fantastic-sounding strings, but I finally couldn't get used to the wiggly feel. The TI G string is absolutely the best G I've heard, but the Ernie Ball G isn't bad. I hope the Ernies get better with time, like the TI's do.
  9. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    I guess strings are my least favorite part of bass.or maybe choosing them is.
    I have a P bass with pressurewounds that I'm pretty happy with,but it would be cool to have another P with flats.can't afford the new wife that I would have to get if I got one.

    Pressurewounds are almost as bright as rounds,seem to last a long time and I dont worry about fret wear with them.and they sustain better than flats,I think.I like the feel better too.

    I have a Jazz with rounds that I keep for those rare times when I need to play slap.But someone told me most guys put rounds on their P bass and flats on the Jazz.Well,it seems to me that if I did that neither one would be a good slapper,not that that would be the end of the world.

    I know I should have started a new thread,guess it was easier to but in on this one.sorry.
  10. Monkey


    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    Marty Forrer, I completely agree with you about flatwounds occupying their own sonic space. So many players want the bass to occupy the entire sonic spectrum. I like to dwell in the cellar, and leave the highs to others.

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